Invest in Your Self: How to Get Found as a Photographer

Lifestyle Photography in Austin Texas

Life as a creative –

We dream, we plan, and we execute.

We dream big.

But it takes more than that. In order to continue growing, we must invest. If you are producing the best work out there, but nobody sees it, where will it bring you?

Life in the freelance world is incredibly demanding – you must be a creative, a visionary, a do-er, a people person, and on the flip side you must be an accountant, a marketing manager and the chief operations officer. The growth of your company depends solely on you to make it happen.. and you want to make it happen.

Where to start?

There is no key answer to success in being ‘found.’

It simply requires going at it from all angles. Since there is never any guarantee or way of showing where new business is directly coming from, I try to touch all the bases.

Here are a few tactics that I utilize for investing in my growth as a photographer.

  1. SEO
  2. Third Party Marketing Sites
  3. Client Relationships
  4. Word of Mouth
  5. Social Media & Blog Posts

I am not going to sit here and say that I completely fill all of these categories to the fullest, but I do continuously strive to work on all of these avenues of possible growth.

1. Search Engine Optimization

What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization is making sure that your website has the necessary ingredients to show up in relevant searches and to put you at the top of the list. It requires adding keywords and tags to your photographs and pages so that when a potential client searches for somebody to satisfy their needs, you will be the answer to that. SEO is a bit more extensive than simply adding metadata, but that is a good start. Watch this video for a more in depth explanation and guide to improve your rankings on the internet.

2. Third Party Marketing Sites

There are numerous third party marketing sites that will showcase your work and put it in the eyes of those who are looking. I use a third party site called Found. Advertising agencies and companies can browse Found Artists and look for a photographer that matches their brand’s vision and reach out to hire them. By showing your work on this site, you gain exposure to various commercial companies, ad agencies, and potential clients. You do have to pay for these services, but sometimes you have to pay to play. When it all comes down to it, this is an investment for your future. Some other sites that I am looking into are BLVD Artists, Wonderful Machine and Workbook. They all have their various pros & cons, but it’s all about finding out what works best for you.

Found creates a workbook and sends it out to advertising agencies and other potential commercial clients. Here are a couple workbooks that I was featured in:

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3. Social Media Sites & Blogging

Social media, social media, social media.. We all fall victim to spending our time on these various social channels. Sometimes we get carried away into the social media rabbit holes, but sometimes our connecting is powerful, productive and beneficial. Sometimes we are looking at inspiration or searching for people to work with. Other times, potential clients are searching photographers’ portfolios through their social media channels. Either way, it has become quite a part of this creative and networking world. For photographers in 2017, Instagram is your very own digital portfolio. It is like walking around with a briefcase of prints that the entire world can see from the tap of a screen. What do you want it to say? What do you want the world to see you as? How do you want to connect with those who are looking at your work? These are all valuable questions, but for starters, it is most important to get your work out there. Put your self out there and post your work!

4. Client Relationships

I imagine that we can all agree how important it is to make sure that your client leaves happy. The next step up from this takeaway is that they must leave with an outstanding impression of you. You must stick out in their mind. There are an endless number of photographers and freelance creatives, that if you do not make an impact on your client, you may miss the next opportunity if somebody else strikes their fancy. One way that I invest in my growth as a photographer is through maintaining and nourishing client relations. Even after a project is complete, I make sure to stay in touch with clients and give praise where praise is due. If I am going to post the work that I did for a client, I make sure to showcase their product/service and thank them for working together. Not only does this help you stay relevant in their mind for the next assignment, it also leaves you as their go-to recommendation to others. Speaking of that…

5. Word of Mouth

Create a buzz. Get the people talking. Even if your clients are commercial companies, you still need to post on social media. You still need to stay in the eyes of the people. In reality, companies are run by people and if people are talking about your work, then at some point, it will get into the right hands to make something big happen. Word of mouth is such a powerful tool that does not cost a dime. If you are posting on social media, blogging, networking and connecting with past clients, somebody is bound to talk about you to a friend, investor, client, or business partner. This is the exact reason why it is so very important that you make a positive impact on your past clients as well. You do create a reputation, as does any brand. When a past client is asked the question, “Have you worked with any noteworthy photographers that I could contact?” What would you like their response to be? Make an impression, stay relevant, and give the people something to talk about. That is where future business comes from. Get the people talking.

Check out more about word of mouth marketing with this insightful infographic.

These are just a few options to get your business out there. The goal is have clients seek out your work. By utilizing these helpful tools, you can stay relevant and available in the eyes of the consumer and have clients calling you to work for them. Work smarter. Get found.

I would love to hear about any other methods that you use to create growth in your company. Please feel free to strike up conversation in the comments section below!

 

 

Patillo’s Bar-B-Q & Production Process

 

Telling stories is truly a balancing act. The more elements that you have to juggle, the more challenging it can be to create a finished product that satisfies all involved. The goal is always to exceed the client’s expectations, tell the characters’ story with intention and grit, and walk away with your team full of pride and satisfaction. That is the all encompassing challenge.

During the production of our last Texas Beef campaign, the team rose to the occasion. We drove down to Beaumont, Texas ready to make big things happen. The idea and mission of our friends at Texas Beef was fully engrained as we stepped into Patillos, a small BBQ joint that would surely impress just about anybody. This “small BBQ joint” turned out to be much more.

 

 

 

When you walk into the space, you can feel the history and smell the 100 year old recipes. Patillos is the oldest family owned barbecue in state of Texas. It is a family, a culture, and a tradition for everybody from the customers, to the wait staff, all the way to the 4th generation owner, Robert Patillo.

 

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We walked in with a small crew ready to go full speed but quickly realized that we needed to meet the pace of the restaurant happening around us.

 

“Patillos has given our community remembrance of a time that has passed … You can sit down at a table and eat a plate of BBQ, a pickle and onions. You just sit back and listen to the jukebox, drink a little tea and relax. Not be so fast..”

 

Patillos has brought the people of Beaumont together since 1912. Not only are they known for their great barbecue, but Patillos has been a symbol of community for the last four generations. It brings people out of their fast paced everyday life down to sit at a table and engage in conversation.

 

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It was quite a task to fully capture what we wanted to make happen in the midst of a fully functioning restaurant, but we did it and I truly learned a lot. I learned that sometimes you just need to slow down and let the story unfold. I learned that it takes a meticulous effort to place the pieces of the puzzle together and it takes an impeccable team to make that happen. It was such a pleasure to meet all of the people and hear the stories of those who call this place home. If you are ever in Beaumont, Texas, Patillos Barbecue is a must.

 

 

 

Film: Dennis Burnett & Mando Rayo

Client: Beef Loving Texans

Still images: Robert G Gomez

Camera Op: Cory Cross

Sound: Nik Worten

Cultural Experience

There is something about travel that opens our eyes. Stepping out of our comfort zone and seeing the world in a new light comes natural while we are in a foreign country. Everything is new. Sights, smells, and all the chaos rushing past leaves you wide eyed and observant. As a photographer, I try to carry this into my day to day life here in Austin, Texas and everywhere. I don’t only want to see the world happening around me when I step off an airplane, but instead notice the subtleties and beauties of everyday life. Here is a glimpse of the world passing by in Havana, Cuba.

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Hand Rolling Cigars
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Cars of Cuba
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Mojito Time

Haig Point: A Community of Southern Charm

On a little island in South Carolina, you will find a southern oasis. After a short ferry ride, you set out to explore your options. Traveling only by golf cart, you can dive into Daufuskie Island through sunset boat rides, golf, or an equestrian adventure. The goal was to illustrate the scenery and portray the endless opportunities of enjoyment at this living community and this is what I captured.. Here is Haig Point.